1789: George Washington is unanimously elected as the first United States president by the U.S. Electoral College. He remains the only president to have received 100 percent of the electoral votes, which he also did in his re-election in 1792.
1805: With Vice President Aaron Burr presiding, the United States Senate begins an impeachment trial against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, who was impeached for allegedly letting his partisan Federalist leanings affect his court decisions. Chase would eventually be acquitted by the Senate on March 1, 1805. He is the only U.S. Supreme Court justice to have been impeached.
1861: In Montgomery, Ala., delegates from six break-away U.S. states meet and form the Confederate States of America.
1902: Aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris, is born in Detroit, Mich. Lindbergh made his historic solo flight on May 20-21, 1927, in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis. A U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve officer, he was also awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his historic exploit.
1912: Golfer Byron Nelson, mostly remembered today for having won 11 consecutive tournaments and 18 total tournaments in 1945, is born in Waxahachie, Texas. Nelson collected 64 career victories, including 52 on the PGA Tour, before retiring at the age of 34 in 1946 to be a rancher. Among his victories are two Masters titles, a U.S. Open win, and two PGA Championships. He died at age 94 on Sept. 26, 2006.
1913: Civil rights activist Rosa Parks, best known for her refusal on Dec. 1, 1955, to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., is born in Tuskegee, Ala. Parks' act of defiance and the ensuing Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She's seen here in 1955 with Martin Luther King Jr. in the background.
1923: Actor Conrad Bain, best known for playing "Mr. Drummond" on the 1980s sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," is born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Bain studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts before serving in the Canadian Army during World War II. He got his start on Broadway in the 1950s and also starred as Dr. Arthur Harmon on the sitcom "Maude." He died of natural causes at age 89 on Jan. 14, 2013.
1940: Film director and producer George A. Romero, best known for his series of zombie apocalypse movies, including the landmark 1968 film "Night of the Living Dead," is born in New York City.
1941: Roy Plunkett receives a U.S. patent for "Tetrafluoroethylene Polymers," now known under the trade name Teflon, which he assigned to his employer, Kinetic Chemicals Inc. of Wilmington, Del. The material is used as a non-stick coating for pans and other cookware. Teflon was discovered by accident on June 6, 1938, when Plunkett noticed a lining of the solid polymer had formed inside containers that had stored tetrafluoroethylene gas under pressure.
1941: The United Service Organization is founded in response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. uniformed military personnel. The nonprofit organization was disbanded in 1947, but was revived in 1950 for the Korean War, after which it also provided peacetime services. The organization became mostly known for its live performances called Camp Shows, through which Hollywood celebrities entertained troops both at home and abroad. Here Bob Hope is seen entertaining troops in 1944.
1943: Frank Calder, the English-born Canadian ice hockey executive most notable for serving as the first president of the National Hockey League since 1917, dies of a heart attack at the age of 65 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Calder was the last president of the NHL's predecessor league, the National Hockey Association, and was instrumental in the transition from the NHA to the NHL while also presiding over the expansion of the NHL from Canada into the United States.
1945: The Yalta Conference between the "Big Three" Allied forces leaders (Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin) opens at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea for the purpose of discussing Europe's post-World War II reorganization.
1947: Dan Quayle, who became the 44th vice president of the United States under President George H.W. Bush in 1989, is born in Indianapolis, Ind.
1948: Rock singer-songwriter Alice Cooper, best known for his hit 1970s songs "I'm Eighteen" and "School's Out," is born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Mich.
1959: Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, often named as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, is born in Williamsburg, Va. Over his 13 seasons with the New York Giants, Taylor was named to 10 Pro Bowls, won two Super Bowl titles and collected 1,088 tackles and 132.5 sacks. He also won a record three Defensive Player of the Year awards and was named the league's Most Valuable Player for his performance during the 1986 season.
1962: Country music singer-songwriter Clint Black, who has amassed more than 30 singles on the U.S. Billboard country charts, including 13 No. 1 hits, is born in Long Branch, N.J. Some of Black's No. 1 hits include "Killin' Time," "Nothin' but the Taillights," "Like the Rain" and "A Good Run of Bad Luck."
1969: Yasser Arafat takes over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1970: The drama "Patton," with George C. Scott portraying U.S. Gen. George S. Patton during World War II, premieres in New York City. The movie would win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Scott, although he famously refused to accept the award, citing a dislike of the voting and even the actual concept of acting competitions.
1970: Actress Gabrielle Anwar, known for dancing the tango with Al Pacino's character in "Scent of a Woman," and for her TV work on the cable dramas "The Tudors" and "Burn Notice," is born in Laleham, Middlesex, England.
1973: The comic strip "Hagar the Horrible" debuts. While the strip was created by cartoonist Dik Browne, it was continued after his 1988 retirement, and subsequent death a year later, by his son Chris Browne.
1973: Boxer Oscar de la Hoya is born in East Los Angeles, Calif. He won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games as a teenager before going onto a professional career that saw him defeat 17 world champions and win 10 world titles in six different weight classes
1974: The leftist group Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps newspaper heiress Patty Hearst from an apartment in Berkeley, Calif. While initially their captive, Hearst later announced she was joining the group of her own free will and took part in a bank robbery with them. After a year on the FBI Most Wanted List, she was arrested on Sept. 18, 1975, and would end up spending 22 months in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
1975: Pop singer Natalie Imbruglia, best known for her 1997 hit song "Torn," is born in Sydney, Australia.
1977: Fleetwood Mac's second album, "Rumours," is released. The album would end up spending 31 non-consecutive weeks on top of the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, a record at the time for a contemporary rock album.
1983: Singer and drummer Karen Carpenter, one half of the pop duo group The Carpenters with her brother Richard, dies of heart failure at the age of 32 in Downey, Calif. Carpenter's death, which was related to complications caused by the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders.
1987: Pianist and singer Liberace, at one time the highest-paid entertainer in the world, dies of pneumonia caused by AIDS at the age of 67 in Palm Springs, Calif. The musician, whose full name as Wladziu Valentino Liberace, was as famous for his flamboyant costumes and stage manner as he was for his music.
1991: The Baseball Hall of Fame votes formally to exclude individuals on Major League Baseball's permanently ineligible list from being inducted into the hall, effectively banning MLB career hits leader Pete Rose, the only living former major-leaguer on the list, from election to the Hall of Fame. Rose had agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball in 1989 amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team.
1992: Hugo Chávez leads the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 in an unsuccessful coup d'état against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chavez was imprisoned for the coup attempt. When he was released after two years, he founded a social democratic political party, the Fifth Republic Movement, and was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, a position he held until his death on March 5, 2013.
1994: The comedy "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," opens in theaters. The movie, which starred then-"In Living Color" star Jim Carrey, was an unexpected hit, grossing $107 million worldwide from a $15 million budget and helping turn Carrey into a bona fide movie star.
1995: American author Patricia Highsmith, known for her criminal fiction novels, including "Strangers on a Train" and the acclaimed series about murderer Tom Ripley, dies of aplastic anemia and cancer at the age of 74 in Locarno, Switzerland.
1997: A civil jury in California finds O.J. Simpson liable in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. It ordered Simpson to pay $8.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldman family. Two days later the jury would start deliberating punitive damages, ultimately awarding the families of Goldman and Brown Simpson a total of $25 million.
1997: Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores his 600th National Hockey League goal during his 719th game, reaching the milestone the second fastest in history. Wayne Gretzky had reached the plateau during his 718th game in November 1988.
1999: Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city. The police officers would eventually be found not guilty in the shooting.
2004: The online social networking site Facebook is founded by Mark Zuckerberg as TheFacebook.com. Membership was initially restricted to Harvard College students, although it expanded to Stanford, Columbia and Yale in March 2004 and eventually to other American and Canadian universities. The company dropped The from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000.
2005: Actor and activist Ossie Davis, known for such movies as "The Hill," "The Cardinal," "The Scalphunters," "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever," dies at the age of 87 in Miami Beach, Fla. Davis and his wife, actress Ruby Dee, were also well known as civil rights activists, and were close personal friends of Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and other icons of the era. Davis is seen here at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963.
2012: Adele becomes the first female British artist to have three songs from the same album reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, with "Set Fire to the Rain" from the album "21" joining the previous chart-toppers "Rolling in the Deep" and "Someone Like You."
2013: English singer-songwriter Reg Presley, best known as the lead singer with the 1960s rock band The Troggs, dies at age 71 in Andover, Hampshire, England, from lung cancer and a series of strokes. The Troggs are best known for the hit songs "Wild Thing," With a Girl Like You" and "Love Is All Around," the latter two written by Presley.